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 Ch. 30: The Priest who Fights

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Ch. 30: The Priest who Fights Empty
PostSubject: Ch. 30: The Priest who Fights   Ch. 30: The Priest who Fights I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 29, 2010 6:50 pm

It was probably the darkest hour of noon that Blizzard had ever seen. The sheer aura of his new opponent was enough to blot out the light from the sun. He couldn’t see anything as he tried to analyze the newcomer. Just a looming shape of blackness, two red eyes as mere pinpricks coming from a blob way up there that might have been a head. The new creature noticed the uncertainty in Blizzard’s eyes, laughed derisively.

“My goodness little Captain. If even someone as high-ranked as you begins to sweat just because they cannot see their opponent’s face, Requiem is in poor shape indeed.” Blizzard sighed. Ignored the fact that his opponent was completely wrapped up in darkness. He was just another enemy to be taken care of. Reaching behind his back, Blizzard unsheathed his Demon Swords for a second time. His opponent’s eyes narrowed with interest. Blizzard darted forward, keen on using his smaller stature and high speed to unsettle the opponent and take him down before he had time to react. Cut the tip of both of his first fingers and let the blood seep into the blades to get them warmed up. Leaped into the air, both blades glowing red, eager to attack. They never reached the opponent.

A wave of cold, so strong Blizzard felt numb just from the shock of it reaching him. Both of his katanas lost their glow, turned black, landed tip-first on the ground. Blizzard landed in between them, kneeling over, shivering with the intense cold. Above him, his opponent yawned. Blizzard didn’t think that he would have to resort to an ability he had just gained already. Wasn’t there a rule that said that one should use their last resort only when faced with certain death? No choice then. Blizzard stood up, trying to ignore the numbing cold. His opponent watched intently.

“My name is Blizzard. What is your name, fiend?”

Blizzard could have sworn that his enemy smiled behind the darkness. “I do not tell my name to those who aren’t worth killing.”

“Aren’t worth killing, huh? I’d like to see you try and kill me!” Blizzard cast of his sleeveless leather jacket, ripped open his black tank-top. Underneath, pulsing gently through a hole in the left side of his chest, was his heart. His opponent’s eyes widened momentarily in shock.

“That is a…”

“This is the ritual that all new members of the Guardians of Doom must go through in order to become Remnants: Heart Extraction. All people of the purest evil have no hearts. Unfortunately, when Lizargeco tried to perform the ritual on me last night with no moon to interfere, he found that though he could infuse me with dark energy, he could not remove my heart. In short, I am the only Remnant that can maintain a fully human form. In the name of Requiem and the Guardians of Doom, I will kill you.”

A blur of shadow. Blizzard was swept off his feet, sent flying fifty feet in the air, landed at the entrance to the Requiem base with a sickening crunch. Seconds later, the rest of his equipment, his Demon Blades, his clothes, were flung after him.

“Get out of my sight!” His enemy roared. “I have no need for fools like you who think they can defeat me just because they were gifted with dark magic from an evil clan. You cannot defeat evil with evil, just like you cannot fight an ocean with a puddle of water. I am the fourth strongest mercenary in this world, and the only one that fights in the name of pure evil. I AM GRENDEL!!!” The looming figure of the dark creature shook with laughter, the echoes of his voice permeating the forest for miles. His dark aura grew, along with his stature, until he stood ten feet tall, with an aura that blanketed the sky. Blizzard groaned, felt his heart threatening to leap through the hole in his ribcage. He rolled over onto his back, looked up with fading eyesight, saw a man in white pass by him, robes gently swishing.

“Take him into the base and lock the door.” Priest’s voice. Two sets of arms dragged Blizzard into the clan base, while another blurry figure could be seen carefully sheathing Blizzard’s Demon Swords and bundling up his clothes. Then Blizzard blacked out.

Grendel narrowed his eyes as a lone figure, garbed in white, came slowly marching out of the Requiem base, leaning on a long wooden staff with a light crystal at its tip. The figure raised his staff slowly into the air, stared at Grendel with blue eyes that roared with magical energy. A single, clear word that rang like a bell. A pillar of light erupted from the tip of his staff, cleaving the darkness in the air like a sharp knife running through a tapestry. Priest waved his staff to and fro, erasing all traces of dark energy from the sky. Grendel could only stare as his dark aura was swiftly negated by this single powerful figure.

“It seems that it is the custom in Requiem to fight their enemies alone. How very interesting.” The lone man in white said nothing, blue eyes still burning. “You do realize,” Grendel continued, “that your efforts are useless. There is no man alive who can defeat me in a single fight. I am Grendel…”

“I heard you the first time when you shouted it.” The man stated evenly. “Grendel, son of Cain, the demon of Danish legend who terrorized the Golden Hall of the King Hrothgar. Sadly, your power does not live up to your name.”

“How would you know? I am named for the son of Cain! I live to kill! There is no one who has killed so many people as I have.”

“Yet you are only ranked fourth strongest mercenary in the world. Mercenary, not killer, but mercenary. At times like this, there is nothing that I feel is more sinful than a man who kills for money.” Priest’s wooden staff ignited, the magical flames eating away at the wood. The light crystal at its tip fell to the ground, its purpose served. All that remained was a sword seemingly made of light, drawing its energy from the sun high overhead. It shone bright as the light of the stars it was crafted from, ages before.

“A starsword? Those weapons were supposed to be a myth. And a white one? How…?”

Priest answered calmly, though his blue eyes continued to rage. “The starswords were crafted ages ago as a weapon to punish sin and deal out justice to a land corrupted by evil and gripped by chaos. The white starsword is the starsword of light, a weapon of the purest good that will not harm you unless,” Priest pointed the blade at Grendel, “you have committed the sin of murder.” Grendel roared, charged, hoping to overwhelm his opponent before it was too late. One giant arm of shadow came crashing down, pulverizing the spot where his enemy was moments ago, but the white cape of the starsword wielder fluttered as he sailed overhead, dodging lightly out of the way. Then the starsword sang through the air, missing Grendel as the monster in turn dodged backwards. Another swipe, this time the left arm. Another miss. Grendel began to rain down blows on the ground around his enemy, wisps of shadow flying as the ground cracked under the pounding it received from the shadow demon above it. When Grendel was finished, a great cloud of dust settled over the land. Hidden within the dark folds of dust, Grendel was safe.

An arc of white light. Grendel’s right arm fell off. A loud howling started up as black drops of blood rained down, Grendel thrashing about with his left arm while his right shoulder bled. In the desperation of his pain, Grendel could barely think as he gathered part of his shadow aura together, growing a new arm out of the darkness. A clear voice spoke.

“In legend, Grendel died from the loss of blood when his arm was ripped from his socket. Apparently you’ve resorted to a solution to fix that problem. But while you were healing yourself by using a part of your shadow magic, I saw through your abilities. You kill your targets with your claws and your fists, then consume them in order to add their magic to your own. This helps to feed your growing shadow aura, which you can then use to heal yourself. But such an ability costs so many lives, it sickens me.” Another white arc. Grendel gasped, fell down on all fours, a great gash on his chest spewing blood. Instead of taking the time to fully heal it, Grendel instead began to run, sealing the wound together as he loped along. The dust about him was quickly settling, leaving his tattered shadow aura clearly visible. The white-robed figure watched as Grendel disappeared. No mercenary ever ran away for long; failure to complete a mission mean that a mercenary ran the risk that they would lose customers.

A shadow portal opened up behind the man. He was right. Four arms shot out of the portal, each one with claws bared, trying to tear the man to shreds. He jumped up, swung the starsword around him in a wide circle, cutting off all four hands. Grendel roared in pain as he stumbled out of the portal, gathering wisps of dark energy to heal his wounds. Instead of regrowing hands, he created four enormous blades out of his arms, each one glinting menacing in the noonday sun.

“These blades are made from hardened shadow. There’s no way you can just cut through them with even a starsword.” The man in white was unperturbed. Leaping into the air, he delivered a series of sword slashes. Each one was countered. “See?” Grendel taunted. “Told you so!” The man danced around Grendel’s lumbering figure, trying to find an open spot. Grendel turned to keep his vulnerable backside from being exposed. The man in white, unfazed, pressed the attack, diving low to get under Grendel’s reach. A black blade came slashing down. The man countered, blocking the attack with his starsword, hoping that the ancient relic would hold. Two more blades stabbed towards him from either side. Sliding down the length of the enemy’s blade with his starsword, the man reached the hilt of the blade, then slashed upwards, knocking Grendel’s hand off a second time. This time however, there was no shadow aura left to heal the wound.

“Damn you!” Grendel shouted, examining his bleeding stump while the other three arms whirled about him. “I’ve used up all of my shadow energy trying to heal myself!”

“Despicable. You use human souls to aid your own terrible deeds against their own will? You’re truly a monster.” Grendel roared, taking the initiative, blades slicing through the air in order to reach the nimble figure of his opponent. The man jumped off the ground to avoid the incoming blades, knocking off two more arms in the process. Howling in pain, Grendel fell to one knee, his last blade covering him. The man paused for a moment, ignoring the shower of black blood staining his white cloak, ignoring the falling limbs around him crashing to the ground.

“Know this before you die. I am Priest, a servant of the light, and the leader of Requiem, a neutral clan. Go now to your maker. May he deal swift judgement upon you.” Priest turned and walked away. Grendel paused, wondering at the lack of a finishing blow. But his eyes were too slow to notice the slight shift in Priest’s hand or the split second in which the leader of Requiem had sliced the air around him to shreds. One hundred cuts burst open at the same time, and Grendel collapsed in a pool of his own blood.

Priest opened the door to the clan base with a wave of his hand, the locks on the wooden door magically undoing themselves. When the door swung outwards to admit him, he was greeted by a thunder of shouts.

“Priest, what happened to the monster outside?”

‘That Grendel…”

“Did you kill him?”

“Priest, you’re covered in blood!”

“Are you alright?”

“What’s with the scary face?”

“Nice starsword!”

“Where’d you get it? Can I have one?”

Priest sat down in his usual spot by the fireplace, not bothering to take off his blood-spattered robes. They had beaten off the first wave of Kobi’s assault, and had lost a captain in the process. Now everything lay in the hands of the brave few who were supposed to have visited the same punishment upon their enemy.
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Ch. 30: The Priest who Fights
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